Answering this is just enabling pettiness, and sowing dissension between myself and my friends who are believers.
I’m answering it because I’ve found a passage I’ve been wanting to quote here for a long time. In answering it, I do not mean disrespect to my friends who are believers; and if they might take it, I beg them not to read further. But it’s a passage whose resentment has stayed with me.
I’ve cited Greek Mythology by the Greek humorist Nikos Tsiforos several times here. I’m citing this, the start to one of his chapters on Hermes. It’s anti-clerical, not anti-God, but it’s the same argument.
He speaks of the changes of the seasons, and sunrise and moonset, as mechanical processes that people wish to imbue meaning to, but they keep on regardless—
And all of this happens with a purpose hidden among the mysteries of the stars. And we come into the world as toothless and wrinkly babies, and we leave it as toothless and wrinkly old people. In the seventy or eighty years of our crappy existence we think ourselves the centre of the universe, we speak of transcendence and ideals, we shit and piss, some of us leave a squirt mark on history, most of us pass by unnoticed and struck down.
And the priests with their censers alongside us hound us with cauldrons full of hot pitch and torments, world without end. Why the hell? Because we’ve committed the crime of coming into this world, to live for seven or eight decades, eating our bread by our sweat and bitterness by the bushel? Well fuck off!